MANCHESTER, England -- Kell Brook will look back on Saturday's sixth-round stoppage win over English rival Amir Khan as one of his career highlights and perhaps more satisfying than winning a world title. But don't assume this will catapult Brook back into title contention.
Brook (40-4, 27 KOs), 35, was impressive -- only his 2014 decision win over Shawn Porter for the IBF welterweight world title was better -- and it was an emphatic response to his previous fight, in which he was stopped by Terence Crawford in November 2020.
But despite overpowering Khan with such gusto, Brook might not be involved in as big a fight again.
He knows it too.
"I've had a fantastic career and been over to America to win a world title, been in with Gennadiy Golovkin, Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, but I always wanted to have this fight with Amir," Brook said. "I felt like a 22-year-old in the ring today, but I'm going to sit down with my family and talk about it."
Brook's options are limited, as he has been stopped by the division's best two operators -- Crawford and Spence -- and he would find it tough going against the division's other top fighters.
Brook was knocked out by Crawford in four rounds and by Spence in 11 rounds (in 2017), which ended Brook's reign as champion after three defenses. To add to that, Brook suffered broken eye sockets in losses to Spence and Golovkin (2016).
Brook also entered Saturday's fight without a top-10 ranking in any of the four world boxing governing bodies at welterweight, which will be another thing for him to consider when assessing whether he needs another fight.
If Brook is to box on, it would seem likely to be at junior middleweight, as he has narrow options at welterweight and also struggles to make the 147-pound limit.
Liam Smith (30-3-1, 17 KOs), 33, from Liverpool, and Brook have previously been linked together in a 154-pound contest, but Smith is first due to challenge Jessie Vargas (29-3-2, 11 KOs) on April 30. A fight against Smith, who is in the latter stages of his own career, would appear to be Brook's best option for one final big payday, since the possibility of a world title shot -- at welterweight or junior middleweight -- is now remote.
Brook also suggested welterweight contender Conor Benn and middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. should fight each other, rather than face him.
"I'm the flavor of the month again. I'm the man," Brook said at the postfight news conference. "They'll have to get in line again. Depending on what I want to do, that's going to be the thing. I'm just going to enjoy this win, spend some time with my family."
If Brook's future seems a bit undecided, Khan's is more certain after he bravely lasted six rounds with Brook despite his legs betraying him as early as the first round.
At the postfight news conference, Khan's face was badly marked up with blood dripping from his left ear as he considered whether he would fight again.
Asked if this was the last time he would be in the ring, Khan said, "I think it could be."
"I felt like I just couldn't get in the groove," he added. "I always said I will retire from boxing, boxing won't retire me, and too much punishment can be harmful for the future. I want to be able to enjoy the paychecks.
"I've had a great career, got knocked down, got back up. I did more than I ever expected. I want to spend time with my family and kids."
Khan (34-6, 21 KOs), 35, who reportedly had a rematch clause in the event he lost, sounded like he was ready to retire, ending a professional career that began in 2005 after he won an Olympic silver medal. Khan reigned as junior welterweight champion from 2009 to 2011 and was knocked out by Canelo Alvarez when he stepped up to middleweight. There were other big nights against Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia, Zab Judah and Marcos Maidana.
The Brook fight was one of the biggest of Khan's career, but retirement is now the sensible decision for Khan, who has multiple business and charity commitments away from boxing.